I wish at 18, I would've chosen the pre-pa route and gotten an associate's degree in DMS or an echo cardiogram tech then continued to get certified in different specialties. I may have taken pre med courses as well. Became a CNA and worked in many different specialties, hospitals, hospice, nursing and rehab facilities for experience, money, connections, letters of recommendation, on the job training to get certified in imaging, phlebotomy, resp tech, occupational or physical therapy technicians, basic EMT 1-IV, ER tech, pharmacy tech, and become a American Red Cross CNA trainer or at least CPR, AED, BLS, first aid and phlebotomy instructor's. Setting up blood drives, charity events etc. Too many ideas to count. I know now that being a healthcare professional is my calling. Some ppl can just play the piano, which I can't, but medicine/biology/anatomy, makes perfect sense. But, I'm 40 now, and my Psychology degree I got in 2001 afforded me sales positions from food broker territory manager, pharmaceutical sales, animal diagnostic laboratory sales manager. I worked from home and travelled all over. I liked being my own boss, and other's as well. I then became a seller and writer of mortgages. Now, I have been on disability for 10yrs and am ready to do what I was meant to. I just wish I was younger. That's why it's important for me to manage my time and not waste a minute doing something that isn't going to help me get in a program.
I'm brand new to this forum. I graduated with a degree in biology and a gpa of 3.52, and was planning to go to medical school the whole way through, while also thinking a lot about PA school. I was ready to apply to med school while I was finishing college, but decided to take some time away from the academic environment to make sure I really wanted to do med school. After almost a year of soul-searching, researching and deliberation (in addition to the last 4 years), I have finally decided that PA is a more appropriate career path for me. I had a great mcat score (93%) and I had all of the volunteer and leadership experience to make me a competitive applicant for med school. Now that I'm looking at PA schools, I need to get my direct patient care hours, take anatomy and physiology (I didn't do the whole series since medical schools don't require it), possibly take statistics, and possibly take the GRE.
I have 400 hours of MA experience (not certified). I know the doctor personally and worked there for 4 months, I learned a lot but it was a very disorganized clinic. I have about 200 hours working as an EMT-B. I'm wondering if I should keep working as an EMT for a year and apply for the 2021 cycle once I take anatomy and physiology at my community college. I've looked at a lot of threads on the internet and from what I've found, paramedic is the best prep for being a PA; things like, "they were a head and shoulders above the rest of their class," and "they were very experienced with patient assessments and had great clinical presence." I've also heard that it's unnecessary and a distraction if your end goal is PA. I want to be a paramedic and get real experience doing more advanced patient assessments, but it would push PA school at least 2 years back since I'd want to work for at least a year to make it worth it. Being an EMT entails a lot of driving and sitting around the station, and when I do get patient contacts, I'm not in charge unless it's a stable (BLS) patient.
Should I take the time to become a paramedic and get really good experience or should I get as many EMT hours as possible in a year and then apply?
Also, do schools look at how many hours I've worked or do they need to know how much time I spent doing patient care, versus driving and sitting around the station, and how do I record that?
My other main question is whether I should take the GRE or just rely on my MCAT score and not apply to "GRE required" schools. I live in CA and would like to stay in California, or at least in the west (CA, OR, WA, CO, AZ, NV, NM). This might be a question for a separate thread.
I know this is a lot, but it's pretty much everything on my mind right now, please feel free to only answer a portion of it if you want.
Thanks so much for the help!
I'll spare the forum my life story and cut right to the chase: Which patient care experience would allow an applicant to be more competitive: EMT-B or CNA/STNA? Or, does it not make a significant difference either way?
I'm currently in the process of deciding which direction to go and am looking for some advice! CNA/STNA classes seem to be more affordable and easier to obtain, but most of the available positions are in LTAC facilities. Obtaining an EMT-B certification is more expensive, but it could lead toward higher acuity experience in a hospital setting. I'm having an open mind to either option but am curious if PA schools seem to value on certification over the other. (I'm not as concerned with salary of the position but rather what is going to make me the most competitive applicant).
Thank you in advanced for insights and feedback!
I am looking to submit by tonight and would appreciate the help. I would prefer if you are a PA, work at the pa school, admissions, or something of this sort but all help is definitely welcome.
Please PM me if you can provide some assistance